Go Veggie With Style | Teen Ink

Go Veggie With Style MAG

By MelodyBee BRONZE, Tarrytown, New York
MelodyBee BRONZE, Tarrytown, New York
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
-Walt Disney

I am a vegetarian. Many people are quick to stereotype vegetarianism as bizarre behavior, appropriate for those on another planet. I treasure our Earth, and since we only have one, we should protect it and the wildlife that populates it. But that’s only one reason to be a vegetarian.

Vegetarians may live longer, healthier lives. There is a ­correlation between red meat consumption and diseases ­including osteoporosis, kidney stones, gall stones, ­diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease, and even acne. From an economic standpoint, it requires less land, money, and energy to produce foods for a vegetarian diet. While there are many benefits to being a vegetarian, only a handful of those who attempt to adopt this lifestyle succeed.

The most important quality is dedication. We are surrounded by meat. It would be easy to forgo vegetarianism at any moment and devour a steak. This is why vegetarians must be staunch and zealous.

Creativity is almost as important as commitment. It’s easy to tire of eating nothing but ­salad. But with a little creativity and some soy products, almost any meal can become vege­tarian-friendly. Many ethnic cuisines also offer abundant flavorful options. Studying these cultures is an excellent way to generate new ideas. Another is to go to a restaurant that specializes in vegetarian food. This can spark a plethora of creative ideas.

Since creativity is a necessary attribute, it is no coincidence that many vegetarians work in creative fields. Many brilliant individuals were vegetarians, including Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albert Einstein. Some current famous vegetarians are Madonna, Paul McCartney, ­Natalie Portman, Pink, and Milo Ventimiglia.

Not everyone wants to be a vegetarian. Accepting this is part of being a vegetarian with style. Forcing your beliefs on others, by subjecting them to long lectures on the nutritional benefits of not eating meat or shoving PETA fliers in their faces, is disrespectful. Stylish vegetarians should also be able to gracefully decline a meaty dish without offending their hosts. Another differentiating quality between the stylish and the un-stylish vegetarian is the ability to stick with it. The latter group can typically be overheard saying things like “I’m a vegetarian – I just eat chicken,” or “I haven’t eaten meat in ten days. I’m a vegetarian.”

Being educated is also important. Do your ­research about different types of vegetarians, and learn as much nutritional information as possible. Your goal as a stylish vegetarian is to be healthy, not trendy. Don’t become a vegetarian solely ­because a celebrity says it’s cool. People who do rarely stick with it for long.

Being a successful vegetarian has been easy for me – I’ve been one since I was born. My family is vegetarian, so no meat is available in my house. However, constantly being surrounded by others who eat meat, and sometimes those who are not accepting of vegetarianism, can be a challenge. To be successful, I’ve relied on personal traits like flexibility, since I’m often in situations where the food choices aren’t ideal.

A common mistake is quitting before your body has adjusted to the transition. It can be difficult to stay committed in the beginning because of temptation. How­ever, this fades over time.

Another common mistake is quitting because you’ve been misinformed about the ­nutritional wisdom of being a vegetarian. That’s why it is vital to be educated. Countless people will tell you that it’s impossible to obtain the nutrients and protein your body requires without meat, but they are incorrect. People actually need only 44 to 55 grams of protein a day, and that is easily found in a vegetarian diet. Many meat eaters are consuming triple that amount, which is not beneficial; on the contrary, it has been linked with Alz­heimer’s disease. Vegetables can also supply all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. However, if you’re still not convinced, you can take a multivitamin.

A society in which people have the constitutional right to live freely is well suited for vegetarians. If you need further convincing, read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. In a style comparable to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Schlosser passionately exposes the dangers of eating meat. For great recipes, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman has got you covered.

Vegetarianism is an important cause that more people should support. PETA estimates that every vegetarian saves over a hundred animals a year. Not only is being a vegetarian healthy, but it also has a positive impact on the world.

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This article has 160 comments.

on Dec. 31 2010 at 9:04 am
The.King SILVER, Golden, Colorado
9 articles 1 photo 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A story's beginning is a sudden event. The start, a happy accident; the end, the fate for which it's meant. A story that never ends is a sad fate."-Miss Edel

Mmmmm... Steak...

gothgurl said...
on Dec. 16 2010 at 9:54 pm
Good article! I've been a vegatarian sense i was 10

on Nov. 29 2010 at 8:09 pm
Munch. an original one, Nowhere, Other
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
A lot of people eat more meat than they should which causes diseases that you mention. but the human body shows that we are omnivoires.Look at your teeth. they aren't just for chewing up lettuce and cabbage. also there are other nutrients in meat other than protein that isn't found in vegetables, and you would have to take an awful lot of multivitamins to fill the gap. even so, this article is very well done :)

on Nov. 16 2010 at 6:58 pm
WingsFlyingHigh BRONZE, Sterling, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Marylin Monroe

It's great to hear there are others of our view. I've also been a vegetarian since birth, since my family is vegetarian. I have grown up with strong ideas about it, and I don't feel the least bit of temptation to have meat. My choice of vegetarianism is one of morality though, not health. I wanted to know what your views on being vegan are. I'm not vegan myself, and I think it's a little extreme. I also love milk and lots of things with milk, and I'm not giving them up! What do you think about it?

on Nov. 7 2010 at 3:50 pm
WintersRevenge PLATINUM, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
29 articles 1 photo 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Yay! I love being purple!" ~Patrick Star, Spongebob Squarepants

Oh, thank you so so much. You don't know how long I've waited to hear that other people care as much as I do. I'm a vegetarian for animal rights, and I have been since I was three years old. Over the years, I have been picked on because of my refusal to even touch meat. The annoying kids at school would tease me when I walked by, talking about how awesome dog-fighting is. When my friends bought Chick-Fil-A, I would remind them where it came from. They would give me grief about it, saying that it's okay to eat living things, but I don't think so. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if we only ate it when there was a shortage of vegetables (which is highly unlikely), but that's not the case. Nowadays, people will through out a perfectly good hamburger just because it has pickles on it. Do they not realize that they just wasted a poor cow's life? What did that cow do to anyone? If you have read AllAnimals magazine, you can understand where I'm coming from. It is a tragic thing, what happens to those pigs in pens so small they cannot turn around, and those cows who are caked in manure because of the lack of clean enclosures, and those chickens forced to sit in cages so small that the can barely move without bumping into another chicken or wall. And have you ever seen that terrible video of what happens to those chickens when they are no longer needed to lay eggs? It's dreadful. And it is not fair. Just because they are not humans does not mean they cannot think or feel pain. They know what is going on. They are just as real as we are. And it is sick. And inhumane. To treat animals like that is disgusting. And yet our government refuses to do anything about it. That's the worst part. 

on Oct. 20 2010 at 10:12 pm
SemiVeggie SILVER, Bellevue, Washington
9 articles 0 photos 23 comments
I just want to express how much I admire you. I am, as the name implies, a Semi-vegetarian (I don't eat red meat, but I do eat poultry and fish.) I am lucky in that my parents are also semi-vegetarians, and I know they would get behind me 100% if I decided to go veg. Therein lies the problem: they would be overzealous about it. I think a lot of people have this (or the opposite) problem. It's not about an aversion to vegetables, it's about the fact that other people are constantly hawking vegetables that I don't want or don't need. It's because my mom doesn't realize that to be a vegetarian doesn't mean I also want to be a health nut. I'm wouldn't want to be a vegetarian for the flax seed and the yoga. For someone like you, who has obviously managed to surpass all this, I am truly impressed. Honestly, I hope our society can learn to lessen its dependence on meat -- we have to.

on Oct. 18 2010 at 3:02 pm
I dont believe that veggie's are outcasts. They are regular people just like you and me. For instance, I know a couple of vegitarians myself and dont consider them any less of a person than I am. I love them and me :D

soccer27/7 said...
on Oct. 16 2010 at 5:56 pm
I agree i would at least want to dedicate a year of my life to being a vegetarian because the way animals are treated makes my stomach turn in disgust. I totally support you and I hope your parents come to realize you are trying to help this planet. :)

krizzy said...
on Oct. 15 2010 at 2:19 pm
This is a very well written article on vegetarianism. I myself have tried to be a vegetarian but fail but i do not have the passion and the dedication one does need. Like you had mention.

on Oct. 6 2010 at 11:11 pm
TrulyRosa BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
2 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Play the wrong note and we'll all b[e] flat."

Thanks for the uplifting comment! I didn't think I had much willpower. :( But thanks for the encouragement! :))))))))))

on Oct. 4 2010 at 5:29 pm
blackveilbrideschickies BRONZE, Brackenridge, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 30 comments
Anyone out there a vegetarian...I congratulate you. I want to be come one. My parents is the problem. They dont approve. They think it won't healthy. So until I become of age in a yr, I ban McDonalds...and dont eat any type of fast food. They slaughter their chicken. Its just gross.

GraemeV said...
on Oct. 3 2010 at 2:01 am
GraemeV, Bundaberg, Other
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The system’s got too much control, and they don’t wanna let it go, I’m a prisoner fighting to be free, I’m breaking out of captivity” – Ziggy Marley.

Wow that's awesome!

Nah I think everyone has the willpower to do so! You just have to find it and really stick with it!

on Oct. 2 2010 at 11:11 pm
TrulyRosa BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
2 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Play the wrong note and we'll all b[e] flat."

Yup! I just realized that - my whole family and I were eating chicken except my sister, who ate tofu. That's dedication! Also my friend is going veggie. It's amazing to see how many people actually are vegetarian! I wish I could do it...I just don't have the willpower required.

GraemeV said...
on Oct. 2 2010 at 7:43 pm
GraemeV, Bundaberg, Other
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The system’s got too much control, and they don’t wanna let it go, I’m a prisoner fighting to be free, I’m breaking out of captivity” – Ziggy Marley.

Ha ha ha! I didn't think of it at first either!

Congradulations! It also gives people self-motivation! It's great for a lot of things other than just saving animals!

on Oct. 2 2010 at 5:36 pm
TrulyRosa BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
2 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Play the wrong note and we'll all b[e] flat."

I didn't remember that animals ate other animals! And if you're happy about this, my sister just went vegetarian a couple weeks/months? ago and has actually done a pretty good job. :)

GraemeV said...
on Sep. 30 2010 at 1:02 am
GraemeV, Bundaberg, Other
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The system’s got too much control, and they don’t wanna let it go, I’m a prisoner fighting to be free, I’m breaking out of captivity” – Ziggy Marley.

I havn't really looked at it that way - but I think it's going to, not only take a long time to get everyone on this planet to go vegetarian - but it will also take a long time for both of these things to happen (Animals over-populated). But don't forget - animals eat animals!

GraemeV said...
on Sep. 30 2010 at 12:59 am
GraemeV, Bundaberg, Other
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The system’s got too much control, and they don’t wanna let it go, I’m a prisoner fighting to be free, I’m breaking out of captivity” – Ziggy Marley.

I'm the same!

I eat some meat, but only if it's in something - such as taco's or a pizza.
But if it's a fat slab of steak or something - it just makes me sick.

S. said...
on Sep. 6 2010 at 1:44 pm
I am not a vegetarian, but I am seriously considering becoming one. I know that it is a very healthy option (when done right) and I have never liked the idea of killing animals. I don't mind it, when I don't think about it. But whenever I'm eating a burger and I actually think about the fact that it used to have big brown eyes, I want to throw up.

J. Rae said...
on Aug. 21 2010 at 1:45 pm
Lol, of course we met before! I am not one to forget. I haven't been able to get an account for some weird reason. When I tried to put a story on the website it said that I was a member and had to login!  I am going to try to get a different email soon and see if it lets me on then, because all I've ever done is posted comments! I sent two stories to the magazine and haven't heard back for three months... hopefully they'll publish them soon. I will comment on you story right now!

on Aug. 21 2010 at 1:31 pm
NeverCaredForKool-Aid GOLD, Elkridge, Maryland
13 articles 0 photos 531 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't believe in hell but I believe in my parent's couch-- Watsky

Hey, Rae!  I think we've already met on one of AquaGems's stories!!!  How 'ya doing?  You said you'd be able to get a TeenInk account in the summer, how close are you?  Obviously, I've already gotten one :)  Can you check out one of my pieces?  I'd really love a comment on "A Secret No More".  :) Please? 

*bats eyelids*